Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is Church "One size fits all?"

What if more churches took a chance to be authentically 'church' in response to where they were planted?

Gateway graffitti project: Let there be light!

A local community center in the Jamestown Area was the recipient of a donation of complete laser tag equipment over the holiday season. The director of the Gateway Center, Amy Rohler, asked if I and my church (First Lutheran Church of Jamestown) would be interested in helping with the project of painting the area.Our theme for the project is "LIGHT". Each panel inside of the game area is 6 ft. by 12 ft., and we are primarily using fluorescent spray paint (as it is a black light lit space) on a black surface.

There are 13 panels in the game room and we also are working on a hallway mural that leads to the game play area. The three panels above are a sample of the style that we are working in. The team that will complete this project are youth, young adults, local artists and me - thank GOD for having a team for such a big project.

I will post more as this project moves along. Please keep us in your prayers as this project will need to be complete by Saturday Feb. 5th, 2011.

Be here now: living in the present

Image found at Design is Mine blog.

Living in the present can be a challenge in our busy task-based worlds. Think what it's like when you have an unexpected day off. Suddenly you have time to be in the moment, instead of thinking of what is next on the agenda.

This following excerpts from the book, The Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting; speaks to the gift of living in the present.

"Matthew 6:34 says, " So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today."

"We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies. We make mental provisions for the days to come, and everything turns out differently. Sufficient unto the day. The things that have to be done must be done, and for the rest we must now allow ourselves to become infested with thousands of petty fears and worries, so many motions of no confidence in God... ultimately we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and reflect it towards others..."

I once heard that three consistent characteristics of Christian disciples are being:
Authentic, Affirming and Available.

It's interesting that all three of these characteristics best happen when the individual lives in the present. We are challenged to simply "Be here now." There are some spaces, the sad - the hurting - the weary - and the unknown, that we'd never really want to be in our "nows"; but no matter if we want them - they are times that we often live.

Author, Eckhart Tolle, says this on being a habitual waiter...
"Are you a habitual waiter? How much of your life do spend waiting? What I call "small-scale waiting" is waiting in line at the post office, in a traffic jam, at the airport, or waiting to someone to arrive, to finish work, and so on. "Large-scale waiting" is waiting for the next vacation, for a better job, for the children to grow up, for a truly meaningful relationship, for success, to make money, to be important, to become enlightened. It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living."

Are you a waiter or are you living in the present and each moment of the day? When you think back on the phrase, "Be here now" what insight or impression does this offer to your current circumstances?

"Living in the present invites us to relinquish worry, allows us to say "it is enough", and teaches us to be faithful in the small things."

"This week, when you know you will have a time of waiting, take that as an opportunity to "be here now" while you wait.

How does this exercise effect you and those around you."

How does active waiting effect your relationship with God?

To find a copy of this book, click here.

-Reflect on these questions and post your reply in the box below. I will respond to each post here. If you would like to see other discussion starters for the book "Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting", you can find them on the Facebook Group: Holy Conversations.